Monday, February 14, 2011

Competitive vs. Cooperative

In the past few years, I've made my classrooms a kind of competitive place.  I've talked before on this blog about my reward system and that most of the stuff I do in class has at least a few students who get a stamp, which equals 1% of their final grade.  Most of the students seem to enjoy it, but there are some who comment in every class that they weren't so into it.  The non-competitive, or weaker at English students I think.  However, in Korea it's all about ranking and comparing against your peers, so my system plays right into the Korean mindset and culture.

But, I can't stop having this kind of nagging feeling in the bottom of my stomach that learning is all about cooperation and collaboration, not competition.  And I wonder if it's time for a change.  And, it would have been years earlier if my students genuinely wanted to learn English and had their own internal motivation/reward thing going.  But, sadly, most do not.  Hmmm....what to do.  Reader ideas?

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